KIGALI (FIBA Africa U18 Championship 2016) – Hosts Rwanda showed early intent with a 94-64 victory over Gabon in their FIBA Africa U18 Championship opening game on Friday night.
Playing in front of a fully packed Amahoro National Stadium, the home side dominated the game right from the first quarter leading 8-0 under two minutes and were in charge 47-21 at half time.
With a game high 22 points and two assists, Nshobozwabyo along with teammates Sano Gasana and Chester Gisa Kayonga lit the stadium and had the home fans on their feet for the most part of the game.
Defending champions Egypt got down to business from the onset seeing off Benin 141-25. It was a one-sided tie and indeed the Pharaohs announced their presence at the tournament.
Title contenders Angola shook off a third quarter scare to defeat Tunisia 66-56 with Silvio De Sousa dropping an impressive 24 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Mali were too much for neighbours Cote d'Ivoire winning with a 19-point lead 63-44 and indeed it was Lassana Haidara’s 14 points as well as Mamadou Moulaye Sissoko’s presence in the paint that gave them a cutting edge.
In the battle of debutants, Democratic Republic of Congo overcame a resilient Uganda 79-61 to set the tone for their underdog campaign as they look to make a statement at the continental showpiece.
DR Congo’s Philippe Kabenga Kasereka sunk 24 points with Patrick Kazumba Mwamba adding 18 to inspire Charly Buzangu Kashala’s side.
Ugandan captain Samuel Mathew Ochieng with 20 points was his side’s highest scorer but that was not enough to stop their neighbours.
Day 1 results
DR Congo 79 v61 Uganda
Angola 66 v56 Tunisia
Cote d'Ivoire 44 v66 Mali
Rwanda 94 v64 Gabon
Egypt 141 v 25 Benin